BASEBALL | MLB

Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Pick & Prediction SEP 16TH 2021

Complete TV: Bally Sports Network | AT&T Sportsnet Globe Life Field Arlington
917Astros Houston
918Rangers Texas
OP
-220
9
CU
-1.5 -105
9o 100
ML
ML: -157
ML: 144
Partials
6
0 0 0 7 0 2 0 3 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Score
12
1
William Taylor
4 WIN, 3 LOSE, PUSH 0
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The Houston Astros have a comfortable seven-game lead in the American League West entering their road game Thursday night against the Texas Rangers, and Astros manager Dusty Baker should be buoyed by the performance of right-hander Jose Urquidy with the playoffs approaching.

With Urquidy producing his longest start since June 23 on Wednesday, the Astros cruised to a 7-2 victory that took some pressure off their overworked bullpen.

Urquidy allowed one run on two hits and one walk with six strikeouts over six innings and resembled the pitcher who routinely provided the Astros depth before he spent two months on the injured list with shoulder soreness.

Aside from right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., Astros starters have struggled to consistently work deep into games. That fact combined with the attempted strategy to manage innings largely out of necessity has put Baker in a precarious position in recent days.

Enter Urquidy.

"His command, and he maintained his velocity throughout the whole game," Baker said when asked what impressed him most about Urquidy's performance Wednesday. "It showed that his arm strength is coming back. He had a very good changeup, and his slider was good. Overall a very good performance, but I was most impressed that he was able to maintain his velocity.

"I was impressed with the fact he went six innings. This is what we needed to get our bullpen straight."

Left-hander Framber Valdez (10-5, 3.26 ERA) will start the series finale for the Astros (85-60) on Thursday. He earned the win Friday in his most recent start despite laboring for five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and five walks with six strikeouts in a 10-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Valdez is 3-2 with a 3.62 ERA over eight career games (five starts) against Texas, including a 2-0 record and 1.38 ERA in two starts this season.

Rookie right-hander Glenn Otto (0-1, 6.92) will be the scheduled starter for Texas (54-91) in the season series finale on Thursday. Otto suffered his loss in his previous start after allowing eight runs on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts over 3 1/3 innings in the Rangers' 10-5 setback at Oakland last Friday.

He had allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts over his first two career starts, including five shutout innings against the Astros in his debut on Aug. 27. A Houston native, Otto allowed two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts against his hometown team.

One bright spot for the Rangers on Wednesday was the return of Willie Calhoun, who was activated from the 60-day injured list and finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Calhoun had not appeared in a game for the Rangers since June 26, when he suffered a left-forearm fracture when he was hit by a pitch.

"That was the silver lining of the day," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "I know we got beat, but it's nice to see Willie get a couple hits there, especially the way that last ball came off his bat to left-center. It's a good thing moving forward."

--Field Level Media

Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers Recap AUG 29TH 2021

Adolis Garcia's grand slam highlighted an eight-run fifth inning as the Texas Rangers rolled to a 13-2 win over the visiting Houston Astros on Sunday at Arlington, Texas.

Garcia finished with three hits and five RBIs, while DJ Peters also homered during the breakout fifth and recorded three RBIs to help the Rangers snap a four-game skid.

Texas' Taylor Hearn (4-4) allowed two runs and struck out six without a walk over 6 2/3 innings. The Rangers avoided being swept in this three-game set and snapped a five-game home slide.

Zack Greinke (11-5) was roughed up for six runs and yielded nine hits over just four innings for Houston, which saw its four-game winning streak come to a halt.

Yordan Alvarez homered while Jake Meyers had an RBI for the Astros.

Texas wasted no time getting to Greinke in the first inning, as Garcia's run-scoring hit capped three straight singles for the hosts. Nathaniel Lowe's sacrifice fly made it a 2-0 contest and Peters came through with an RBI double to left field.

Another Peters' sacrifice fly in the third made it a 4-0 game and the Rangers added another with Yonny Hernandez's RBI double an inning later.

With Greinke out of the game, Houston finally got on the board. Alvarez's homer opened the fifth and the Astros made it 5-2 on Meyer's double later in the inning.

However, the Rangers put the game away in the fifth inning.

Peters led off a home run and Jose Trevino and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa (two hits) delivered RBI singles later in the inning. Texas then loaded the bases for the All-Star rookie Garcia, who belted his 29th home run of the season into the right-field seats. Nick Solak (two hits) capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single.

Texas played without rookie infielder Andy Ibanez, whose 11-game hitting streak ended when he left Saturday's 5-2 loss with a hamstring injury.

--Field Level Media

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